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A-Musings, Community

On Freedom, Interconnectedness + Women We Love

by Tammi Leader
 ∙ Jul 2 ∙ 5 Min Read

Freedom: a right many will be celebrating over this long weekend, as many others fight for it. What a concept, right? I mention freedom here only because it reminds me today, more than most years at this time, of the interconnectedness of all who walk this Earth alongside us. We’re lucky to share space in this and cherish your place in this outrageously special community. I’m thrilled to report that lots of you are doing big things right now.


Over the last few weeks and months, we’ve learned that we are only as strong as our weakest member; only as free as our least free neighbor. Whatever path we walk along, we follow the footsteps of those who’ve walked it before, and who have paved it for us or smoothed its soil. Our footsteps too will be followed by those who come next…and those who follow them. AND — most excitingly, in my opinion — whatever path we walk along, we should know that what lies ahead is connected to another’s path, where “my” and “your” and “their” journeys intersect.

If this sounds far out, bear with me here: Campowerment is almost entirely dedicated to creating intersections and inspiring realizations like this

Our Crew designs experiences to help you discover new twists and turns on your journey; to enjoy it (s’)more, because of its inherent connection to those who walk different walks; and, if things are really working, to upgrade the experience for you and those who come after you. Foundationally, that ties to freedom as we like to think about it.

So, as promised: in the spirit of interconnectedness, we’re sending out extra snaps to four campers who are upgrading the journey for themselves and others right now, and birthing some big stuff.

campers in the wild:

Big shout out to Sharon Preston Folta!

Sharon is a September 2018 Poconos camper who blew off the doors of a huge family secret, one that nobody talked about for decades. In Sharon’s autobiography “Little Satchmo,” she reveals that her father was the late and great Louie Armstrong:  an icon — and a symbol of musical genius, and unassailable character. Even after the trumpeter’s death, Sharon remained Armstrong’s secret—the product of a two-decade-long affair between the long-married musician, and the vaudeville dancer, Sharon’s mom, Lucille Preston.

Over the past two months, Sharon’s worked hard to bring  “Little Satchmo” to life on the screen, after being tapped as an Executive Producer of a documentary featuring her story. She’s also narrating the film, and has been directed and recorded remotely for many weeks, because of COVID, in a tiny studio in her house. “Little Satchmo” is an extraordinary tale of identity, loss, and one daughter’s ultimate search for truth—and her father’s love, and it’s set to hit the film festival circuit in January 2021.

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Send some mama love to Abbey Greenberg Barksdale and Crystal Marcano!

These two incredible women birthed quarantine babies!! Abbey Greenberg Barksdale (Sept 2016 & 2017 camper) welcomed this beautiful little girl, Lillian Claire Barksdale into our world on May 27. Also gushing these days: Grandma/camper Marge DellaVecchia!

A week later, Cairo Reign Marte made Crystal Marcano (Nov 2019 and to-be-Nov-2020 camper) a mum for the second time, though it was anything but smooth sailing, as Cairo spent 6 days in the NICU. “Giving birth during COVID has taught me…to lean on others for strength, and that it’s okay to not be okay.  For the first time, I wasn’t strong and had to ask for help. Luckily, I have an amazing support system from my family, but more so from my Ojai BUNK 14 SISTERS! I owe a lot of my strength to them!”

Congrats to the new mommies in our midst 🙂

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When opportunity comes a’knocking, Barbara Palmer always opens the door!

“Babies,” we have learned,  come to us in lots of different ways. Former Paramount Pictures Marketing exec Barbara Palmer (many-time camper, and expert) saw an opportunity to birth a product that any mom of young children may not even realize she needs right now. The idea came to Barbara  when she went to pick up her daughter in Tuscaloosa this spring, after she completed her freshman year at the University of Alabama.

“When all your kids’ college-aged friends lose their summer employment due to a pandemic and your clients are overwhelmed by Zoom demands and with adding Chief Entertainment Officer to their responsibilities because their kids are underwhelmed and bored – you put the two together and create Sitter Sessions.”  

These virtual hangout sessions match college students who have been camp counselors and sitters, with elementary aged kids for an awesome Zooming hour of science, art, exercise, ‘no cook’ cooking, puzzles, music, dance parties and more.  Parents get an uninterrupted hour to do business (or do nothing) and the hangout gives the little one the undivided attention of a big kid.  Available in all time zones at all times of the day: For more info or to connect with Barbara, visit 

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It’s a tremendous time for growth and transformation and for so many in our community, this challenging moment in time has sparked some fascinating new beginnings. This weekend, instead of celebrating freedom that America has not yet provided for all, we recognize once again how much we have to be grateful for, and how much more to work through while we’re here, together. Meantime, we honor and send big love and support to those using their freedom to make life better for themselves and others.

Have an ignited week. Get up to something, wouldya? Then tell us about it HERE…we love to humble brag about the moves our peeps are making, especially now, when it actually matters more than ever before.

From the campfire & beyond,

Founder, Campowerment

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